The Chicago Bears on Thursday afternoon hired Ryan Pace as the team's sixth general manager. He replaces Phil Emery, who was fired one day after the team's season ended.
The Bears will introduce Pace at a press conference at Halas Hall at 11 a.m. Friday morning.
Pace comes to the Bears from the New Orleans Saints, where he has a myriad of experience in 14 years with the team. He has been their director of player personnel over the last two seasons, and before that he worked in a variety of roles, including director of pro scouting from 2007-12.
In the press release issued by the Bears, the team cited his work in bringing Drew Brees and Jonathan Vilma as instrumental in the team's Super Bowl championship in 2009. He was also key in the Saints acquiring players like Jeremy Shockey, Curtis Lofton, and Darren Sproles.
Pace's hire means that the Bears can turn their attention to hiring a head coach. Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was scheduled to interview with the team on Thursday, and the team has already interviewed Denver Broncos Adam Gase and Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn. Candidates like Mike Shanahan are also still on the market, and Pace's hire could expedite the process as the Bears look to install a head coach to replace Marc Trestman.